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Saturday, December 10, 2011

 Remember the guy who wouldn't take the flag down? 

You might remember a news story several months ago about a crotchety

    Old man who defied his homeowners association and refused to take down

    The flagpole on his property and the large flag that flew on it.  Now you can

    Find out who, exactly, that old man was.

On June 15, 1919, Van T. Barfoot was born in Edinburg -- probably

Didn't make much news back then.

Twenty-five years later, on May 23, 1944, near Carano , Italy ,

Van T. Barfoot, who had enlisted in the US Army in 1940, set out to

Flank German machine gun positions from which fire was coming

Down on his fellow soldiers.  He advanced through a minefield,

Took out three enemy machine gun positions and returned

With 17 prisoners of war.


If that wasn't enough for a day's work, he later took on and

Destroyed three German tanks sent to retake the machine gun positions.


That probably didn't make much news either, given the scope of the

War, but it did earn Van T. Barfoot, who retired as a colonel after

Also serving in Korea and Vietnam , a Congressional Medal of Honor.



What did make news was a neighborhood association's quibble with

How the 90-year-old veteran chose to fly the American flag outside

His suburban Virginia home.  Seems the rules said a flag could be

Flown on a house-mounted bracket, but, for decorum, items such

As Barfoot's 21-foot flagpole were unsuitable.



He had been denied a permit for the pole, erected it anyway and was

Facing court action if he didn't take it down.  Since the story made

National TV, the neighborhood association has rethought its position

And agreed to indulge this old hero who dwells among them.



"In the time I have left I plan to continue to fly the American flag without

Interference," Barfoot told The Associated Press.  As well he should.

And if any of his neighbors still takes a notion to contest him, they

Might want to read his Medal of Honor citation.  It indicates he's not

Real good at backing down.


Van T. Barfoot's Medal of Honor citation:


This 1944 Medal of Honor citation, listed with the National Medal of Honor Society,
is for Second Lieutenant Van T. Barfoot, 157th Infantry, 45th Infantry:






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